Obituary: Norbert Taferner, 1940 – 2010

Norbert Taferner, a retired South African civil aviation official, and his wife Paula died in a plane crash in Tripoli, Libya, on Wednesday. Norbert Taferner was known among amateur radio operators as ZS6ANL, and as a presenter of a technical media program on Radio RSA (now Channel Africa) in the 1980s and the early 1990s. Paula and Norbert Taferner were originally both Austrians. He reportedly took the South African citizenship some time since the 1960s while she remained Austrian. Irish author Bree o’Mara also died in the crash.

The only survivor, a nine-year old boy from the Netherlands, was scheduled to be flown back to the Netherlands today.


4 Comments to “Obituary: Norbert Taferner, 1940 – 2010”

  1. Norbert was a dear colleague at Radio RSA.
    More recently, we would speak at length on the phone once a year or every two years, but never lost touch completely – the last time was during his extended stay in Albania. He was loyal, which was much appreciated. He was very modest also – only once in a while did one get a glimpse of his vast specialised knowledge.
    I was greatly shocked at the news seen on TV by chance.
    My heartfelt condolences to his sons and families.


  2. Thank you for commenting. I knew your name right away when I saw it in the commenter thread – I used to listen to Radio RSA as a teenager, and I learned the basics of antenna construction from Norbert Taferner’s programs. He seemed to be a natural born teacher.


  3. I was so sorry to read that Norbert and Paula were on this ill fated flight. I was a colleague of Heidi, with the Dutch service, and co-edited and presented the technical shortwave programme, called De puntjes op dx. I also got to know the Taferners beyond Radio RSA and they were among the finest people I ever met in South Africa.
    My sincere condolences to their sons.


  4. I think that the world of radio in the 1970s and 1980s was the way to make the point that the world wasn’t that big after all, and how connected it is. The internet has the potential to transfer knowledge much faster and more efficiently than radio or television, but the impressive thing then was that someone could put so much information across just by speaking. Mr. Taferner’s programs were special for their enthusiasm, and for the noticeably thorough, methodical preparation work behind them.
    It’s just the more palpable how the loss of Mrs. and Mr. Taferner is felt by people who knew them personally.

    This was a blog post about very sad news, but I’d like to wish you, Mrs. Mueller and Mr. De Preter, a good Christmas and a happy new year.


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